Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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If I had a dollar for every photography app out there, I'd be on a Caribbean island right now, sunning myself. Unfortunately, life doesn't work out that way, but I do get to enjoy it when a good photography app comes along and does things a little differently. Portray is one such app. It offers a form of photo filtering but one with a more hands-on approach and with an original outlook.
Rather than simply applying a filter and gazing at the automatic wonder, users apply a paper type at first, before subtly manipulating with an array of different options. Sure, it might take a little longer than just hitting one button, but it offers up plenty of more flexibility without seeming intimidating. Refreshingly, it's all done on the fly, too, meaning it's easy to see how things change rather than having to wait for the app to finish processing.
I found the best results came from creating damaged or vintage style images. Users can edit things such as the coloring used, the image tone and darkness, as well as apply things such as charcoal or pencil sketching manually, with a stroke of a finger. It works well, meaning that Portray walks that narrow line between being simple to learn but not simplistic in its potential.
Completed with an array of social networking sharing features, Portray is nearly the whole package. Except for one curious omission: a lack of an undo button which seems oddly absent. The erase button helps to an extent but it's not quite the same and can be more inconvenient if used incorrectly. It's unfortunate as, otherwise, Portray is an exceptionally creative app. It's well priced and offers plenty of useful features, with the options for more to be unlocked via in-app purchases, but manages to miss the most vital of tools.